MP for Lacombe-Ponoka released a statement thanking Andrew Scheer for his time as Conservative Leader after the leader announced he was resigning in the House of Commons.
“I want to express my sincere thanks to Andrew Scheer for his hard work and leadership over the past two and a half years. It is a momentous challenge to be the Leader of a major federal party, a Member of Parliament and a father of five,” Calkins said in a statement.
Scheer’s resignation comes two months after a Federal Election that saw his party pick up seats and hold Justin Trudeau’s Liberals to a minority government, but he was unable to gain enough support to form a Conservative government.
“We kept our party united and strong. We knocked the Liberals down to a minority. We increased seats all over this country,”” he said.
Scheer said he remain interim leader until the party announces a new leader after an internal election.
“In order to chart the course ahead, this party, this movement, needs someone who can give 100 per cent to the efforts,” he said, adding that he had decided it was time to put his family first,” he said
Calkins said Scheer delivered the strongest opposition in Canadian history.
“The Conservative Party of Canada is a strong and united force that will continue to work hard to hold the Liberal government to account as we begin the process of selecting a new leader of Canada’s Conservatives and Canada’s next Prime Minister,” Calkins said.
Calkins reaffirmed his commitment to represented the constituents of Red Deer-Lacombe.
“I remain committed to keeping our party united, our membership engaged and continuing to prepare to win the next election and form a strong majority Conservative government capable of healing the wounds that Justin Trudeau has inflicted on our country,” he said.
Scheer will remain MP for the riding of Regina-Qu’Appelle which he has represented since 2004.
-With files from Blaine Calkins and the Canadian Press